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Get Hooked! The Top 8 Spots for Walleye Fishing in Iowa

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Does your bucket list including catching the elusive walleye fish? A true angler loves a challenge. It's part of the adventure to find fish that are as strategic as the fisherman.

The walleye may pose a challenge to the average fisherman. For the seasoned angler, it is the opportunity to test their mastery. If there was such a thing as chess for fishing, this would be it.

Anglers have to study their habits and carefully plot their course for catching a walleye fish.

These fish are masters of staying out of plain sight. During daylight hours they stay in hiding, preferring the cover of weeds, rocks and other hard to access spaces. They wait until nighttime to search for food.

Location is important if you are planning a fishing expedition that includes walleye fish. Continue reading for the best places for walleye fishing in Iowa.

1. Des Moines River

If you're looking for reliable locations with plenty of walleye fishing in Iowa, the Des Moines River will be a great location. Find a spot near the Scott Street Dam to cast your line. The walleye are plentiful there and near the Saylorville Dam.

Knowing the right spots to fish along the river can make a huge difference. Some of the biggest catches have come for this river. On average you can expect to catch walleyes weighing in around 10 pounds.

2. West Okoboji Lake

If you are planning to do walleye fishing in Iowa along West Okoboji Lake there are a few things you should know in advance. Walleye season runs from the first Saturday in May through Valentine's Day, the following year.

Walleye's run about 15 inches in this lake. If you catch bigger walleyes you will be subjected to protected species rules. This will limit the number of fish you can take home.

Walleye fishing is very popular in the area. If this is your first trip to Iowa, plan ahead and do your research for the best camping spots. Not all of them come with electricity.

3. Lake Rathbun

Lake Rathbun is located in ‎Appanoose County, Iowa. Although it is a manmade reservoir, it is one of the largest lakes in Iowa. This creates reproduction issues because walleyes cannot reproduce in reservoirs.

The fish that you will catch at Rathbun Lake are bred at a fish hatchery. An estimated 34 million baby walleyes are released into the lake every spring.

If you like fishing in the warm summer months, Rathbun Lake is a good fishing spot in Iowa. There are no restrictions on the number of fish you can catch and by this time the average size is 14-15 inches long.

4. Black Hawk Lake

Black Hawk Lake is a 957-acre lake located in Sac County, Iowa, in the town of Lake View. The lake underwent a massive renovation and clean-up about six years ago. Afterward, the lake was the replenished with various species of fish including the highly sought-after walleye.

Now that the population of walleye is at good numbers, visitors can expect to see fisherman from surrounding states coming in for the catch.

Located in Black Hawk State Park, visitors will find loads of family-friendly activities. They also have campgrounds so you can stay in the park.

After hauling in your catch explore some of awesome their nature trails.

5. Brushy Creek Lake

Brushy Creek Lake is a part of Brushy Creek State Park. The park is located in Lehigh, Iowa, which is in the northeastern portion of the state. You can expect full amenities at the lake including boat docks and shoreline fishing.

If you plan to bring the family they have campgrounds, beaches, and playgrounds.

When it comes to Iowa fishing lakes, Brushy Creek Lake is as good as they come. Walleye is a popular species in the lake and are often larger than in other areas of the state.

For the amateur angler, the pro walleye anglers choose jigs and crankbaits in this part of the state.

6. Big Spirit Lake

Big Spirit Lake is located in Dickerson County. The lake is nearly 5700 acres and has a depth of 24ft. It is a full amenity lake that also houses a fish cleaning station.

Don't let the legend of Spirit Lake keep you away. The lake is stocked with walleye fry to keep it fully populated. You'll have plenty of fish to try their skills at catching the popular fish.

During fishing season, knowing what part of the lake has the best catch will land you the best results The more experienced anglers already know which equipment will yield the best results.

7. Storm Lake

Storm Lake can be found in Buena Vista County. In 2008 the lake had a charted depth of 20.4 feet and covered over 3000 acres. It is also a full amenity park good for camping, fishing and nature hikes.

Storm Lake also has boat access and is also an excellent place for shore fishing.

Walleye fishing comes with restrictions. The daily limit is three. If you catch one between 17 and 22 inches it must be released immediately. You can reward yourself with one walleye, measuring over 22 inches...if you're lucky enough to reel one in.

8. Big Creek Lake

In 2017, a 28-inch, 12-pound walleye was caught in Big Creek Lake by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It was the fish's lucky day because it was tossed back into the river after being weighed and measured. Researchers estimate his age to be around 10 years.

After loading a picture to the IDNR Facebook page, someone commented that an even bigger fish had been caught in the river shortly after.

If catching the biggest walleye fish is your thing, Big Creek River may have the best fishing spots in Iowa.

There are Great Places for Walleye Fishing in Iowa

We hope you have found our list of best places for Walleye fishing in Iowa to be useful in planning your next adventure.

Our blog has a lot of useful information for the avid fisherman and the beginner. Click here for our guide on the ultimate fishing lure.